He came. He looped. He kinda conquered. Keller Williams' Friday evening performance at The Vogue was both subdued and entertaining. For anyone who hasn't seen the man before, it is an experience unique from most musicians.
While a vast majority of artists tour with a fully stocked band, Williams personally takes on this task. He's pecking out notes on the keys one second, and then bounding over to the guitar to pluck away a cheery riff. He's an impressive example of a modern day one man band, and he fully embraces this challenge while meticulously arranging his loops.
The one downside to this ambitious approach to his mostly acoustic jams is that all this bouncing from instrument to instrument breaks the audience's concentration. At certain times, his tunes became simple background noise to the loud conversations cropping up around the theater. This was an unpleasant distraction, because who wants to go to a show just to hear the music drowned out by cocktail party chatter? Not I.
However, luckily, Keller's redemption arose from the crowd favorites he kept cranking out all night long. From "Gate Crashers Suck," an expletive laden track about the Grateful Dead Deer Creek incident of '95, to a groovy rendition of "Shakedown Street," he teased out the inner hippie in everyone. "Best Felling," and one of my personal favorites "Restraint," were energetic enough to ward off the dastardly crowd banter for a while, and allowed the music to reign supreme.
The next time I see Keller I will probably be at a sunny music festival equipped with both a lawn chair and a cold one in hand. His talent and ambition are fantastic, but the crowd ultimately diminished the spark of the performance.